What to Pack
Bringing the right clothing and personal items on your safari keeps you safe and comfortable, and increases your enjoyment of the many adventurous activities available during your travels. As a general rule, you should pack lightly and make wise choices for the types of clothing you bring. Formal attire is unnecessary, and takes up limited space. Loose fitting garments that can be worn in layers will ensure your comfort during the day and at night. It is advisable to bring clothes that you do not mind getting dirty. Some safari accommodations offer next day laundry services (generally at a cost) subject to appropriate weather conditions, so it is unnecessary to bring a large quantity of clothing.
It is recommended to pack clothes that are made of neutral colors, such as khaki, light bark or mid-tone brown, beige, olive and green, the typical colors used for safari clothing, and avoid bright and white colored clothing. Insect repellent is recommended. Wearing appropriate shoes for your safari activities protect your feet from blisters, as well as thorns and stones. Because your safari activities vary in intensity and terrain, waterproof shoes are recommended dependent on your itinerary, such as hiking boots or walking shoes for long hikes or game walks; waterproof sneakers are appropriate for most activities. We generally recommend broken-in walking shoes for utmost comfort due to the rugged and variable terrain while on safari, and sandals for additional travel extensions. You may also want to bring a pair of lightweight flip-flops or sandals for in-room use or taking a shower.
You may encounter different African cultures and beliefs. Out of respect for these cultures we recommend wearing appropriate clothing when visiting markets, bazaars or other attractions. These items should avoid revealing bust line, shoulders or thighs.
Recommended Clothing for Men and Women
Download the printable Packing Check List
What to Bring
Safari Gear Checklist
The key to staying comfortable while on safari is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you can mix and match versatile layers to create the right amount of ventilation, insulation and weather protection. This gear list has been compiled to help you in choosing your gear for your safari.
Try to bring only what is necessary – this will help you and the field staff.
- Valid passport for 30 days after intended return date with at least 4 blank pages.
- Airline tickets
- Digital or Photocopies of passport (the personal ID information page) and keep it separate from your passport. You can take a picture with your Smart Device.
- Luggage (Only use TSA approved luggage locks)
- Duffel bag or suitcase (wheels and retractable handles are fine), sturdy and large enough to hold clothing and gear. Please note that you must be able to handle your luggage by yourself without help.
- Daypack large enough to hold camera, binoculars, water bottle, sunscreen, etc.
- Luggage tags and locks
- Pack an extra duffel bag for souvenirs.
- (Please note that assistance will be given to handicapped persons or persons with back problems)
Clothing & Footwear
- Lightweight sweater/jacket/fleece (for cool mornings or evenings)
- Waterproof breathable rain jacket
- T-shirts/Tank tops (5 )
- Long-sleeved shirts (5 )
- Shorts, mid-thigh or longer (4 Pairs)
- Lightweight, breathable, quick-drying long pants (zip-off legs are recommended) (2 pairs)
- Socks (5 Pairs)
- Quick-drying underwear (6 Sets)
- Sleepwear (2 Sets)
- Swimsuit (for swimming at camps)
- Clothing Accessories like belts.
- Sun hat with brim
- Lightweight wool or fleece hat (for early morning/evening game drives)
- Lightweight gloves (for early morning/evening game drives)
- Bandana or Buff
- Walking shoes or sneakers (closed-toed) broken in.
- Sport sandals for evenings, city wear or when traveling
- Flip-flops for taking showers or in room use.
- Credit Card information – Credit card number, Company & Phone number
- Visa and MasterCard is widely accepted. Please notify your bank that you will be traveling abroad.
- Family doctor – Name, Address & Phone number
- Health Insurance – Policy number, Company name & Phone number
- Emergency Contact Information – Name, Address, Phone number and persons relationship
- Travel Insurance Information
- Electrical converter and adapter
- Reading and writing materials
- Alarm clock or watch
- Spare contact lenses or prescription glasses (with prescription papers)
- Motion sickness remedies
- Zip-lock to protect camera/binoculars, valuables from dust and water.
- Travel-sized detergent packets for hand-washing intimate wear
- Prescription medications (with prescription papers)
Things to consider
Always pack essential items such as your passport, money, eyewear, medications, camera, toiletry bag and a change of clothes in your carry-on in case your luggage is delayed.
- Laundry services are available in camps for a minimal fee.
- If you normally wear contacts, bring a pair of glasses in case of irritation from dust.
- Camouflage clothing is not recommended.
- Plastic bags are helpful to separate footwear, wet and dry clothing.
- Place binoculars in carry-on luggage.
- ATM’s available at some locations.
- Check with your Phone Company regarding international calling plans.
- Women should bring adequate quantities of feminine hygiene products, such as tampons, pads and panty liners, as they may be difficult to purchase while on safari.
- Panty liners are useful for trickle drying after urinating in the bush.
- Toiletry kit with travel sized(3.4 oz./100ml) soap, shampoo, lotion, toothpaste & brush, roll-on deodorant, aspirin/Tylenol
- Sun block and lip balm with SPF 35-50+
- Insect repellent
- Personal first-aid kit including antihistamine, Band-Aids, antiseptic ointments and anti-diarrhea medication.
- Hand sanitizer gel
- Flashlight/headlamp with extra batteries
- Sunglasses and retainer strap
- Binoculars (highly recommended)
- Camera, memory cards, spare batteries and lens cleaner
- Small packs of tissue
Electronic Gadgets Safari
Although you may desire to escape completely from the modern world and its technology, some electronic gadgets are recommended. You will need a converter plug for your mobile devices, cameras and personal appliances. Electricity on Safari is 220 to 240 volts and 50 hertz. You may also want to bring a mobile tablet or smartphone to keep you organized and in contact with friends and family back home. Most lodges do have Wi-Fi connectivity, but it may be limited to a communal area.
Laundry on Safari
Accommodations generally offer laundry services at a cost. You should also know that in African culture, undergarments are not included in the laundry service, so you will need to hand wash those items. Most lodges sun-dry clothing and you might only receive your laundry the next day.
Safari Luggage Guidance
Your safari baggage weight restrictions on most internal safari flights are 33 pounds or 15 kilograms, per person. If your bag exceeds this limit, you will be charged an additional fee for excess baggage. Soft-sided, sturdy duffel bags are strongly encouraged as your baggage will need to be easily loaded and maneuvered in a small luggage compartment during your air travel. If your safari does not include any air travel, you are free to bring luggage up to 44 pounds (20 kg) in soft sturdy bags or hard sided suitcases. You must be able to handle your own bags.
General Packing Suggestions
In addition to the guidelines already outlined, you should also follow some general recommendations when packing for your Safari. Since you may need to handle your bags during your journey, the lightweight nature of soft-sided luggage will make this task easier for you. You should pack any critical items in your carry-on bag instead of in your checked baggage. This should include, at a minimum, your travel documents, money, medications and other important items. You should lock your baggage at all times with TSA-approved locks. The African bush is no place for expensive jewelry. Leave sentimental and expensive jewelry at home! When traveling, never keep all of your cash in one place. Distribute it to minimize any potential loss. Cameras and other equipment should be protected during your tour activities, and water-resistant daypacks are the perfect solution! Lastly, and most importantly, keep it simple and straight forward. Please do not bring hair dryers, irons, excessive clothing and unnecessary beauty toiletries. You simply will not need them during your safari experience in natural settings.
Your safari is an adventurous, high-paced, once-in-a-lifetime experience that takes you into some of the most pristine wilderness in the world.
Africa Through Your Lens | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | PO Box 169, Vredefort, FreeState, South Africa 9595
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